The average business generates a huge range of records, whether it’s forms, customer information, healthcare records, memos, reports, contracts, employee agreements, financial documents, or dozens of other record types. Records contain the information that drives productivity and tracks your business’s relationships with its customers, partners, and employees. But, as important as these records are, managing them is complex and time-consuming.

Records management services help businesses streamline records management, empowering them to access the information they need without the clutter and daily grind of filing, storing, and searching through large numbers of physical records. Businesses across the U.S. use records management services to maximize the value of their records while minimizing costs and labor.

What are Records Management Services?

A records management service allows businesses to outsource the management of physical and digital records. Instead of being stored in a business’s offices, records are moved to a secure storage facility, where records management specialists take care of filing, tracking, and record retrieval. A reputable records management service offers a high degree of security and confidentiality. Records are tracked from the moment they leave your possession, providing end-to-end location awareness and chain of custody.

Once records are stored in a secure facility, you can retrieve them whenever they are needed. Records management services provide several options for gaining access to stored records. You might choose to digitize records immediately so they can be accessed via records management software. Alternatively, you can opt for a scan-on-demand service. Or you might prefer to have physical records delivered to your office via next-day or same-day rapid document delivery.

The obvious benefit of a records management service is that you don’t have to manage records in-house. Valuable employees don’t have to spend time rummaging through records boxes and file rooms to find the information they need to do their jobs. But there are many other advantages to using a records management service.

Use Your Physical Space Efficiently

Office space is expensive, especially when your offices are in a desirable area of a city with high commercial real estate prices. Physical records take up a lot of space, as do the shelves and cabinets needed to store and organize them. On-site record storage is not the most efficient use of office space. Moving records to an offsite record management service frees valuable office space for more productive use.

Control Employee Access to Records

A records management service makes it easy for employees to access records, but it also allows businesses to control who can see records with strict access controls. Additionally, with records management software like FileBRIDGE®, clients gain insight into who has requested records, creating a comprehensive chain of custody that helps businesses understand how their records are used and by whom.

Streamline Regulatory Compliance

Managing records in compliance with regulatory standards like HIPAA, GDPR, and SOX significantly increases costs. In addition to simply storing documents, businesses must implement information governance policies that ensure records are held, accessed, tracked, retained, and destroyed according to relevant regulations. In addition, regulations aren’t static; they constantly evolve, and businesses must keep on top of changes if they are to remain compliant.

Record management services can reduce the labor and cost of regulatory compliance. Records are stored in secure facilities, and access is tightly controlled. Records retention schedules and retention and privacy compliance software ensure that documents are retained in line with regulatory compliance and securely destroyed when necessary. Furthermore, the software tracks regulatory requirements, enabling businesses to remain compliant as the regulatory environment evolves.

Improve Information Flow

Information flow is the way information moves through an organization between people and systems. A well-ordered information flow is essential to operational efficiency. Managers and employees need information to do their work, and poor information flows hurt productivity. A records management service can help businesses to streamline the flow of information throughout their organization, ensuring that records are quickly retrieved and delivered—either digitally or physically.

Manage the Document Lifecycle

Ideally, documents and other records follow a structured lifecycle that includes creation, storage, categorization, retrieval, archiving, and destruction. Each stage plays a vital role in ensuring that the business can extract the maximum value from its records while maintaining compliance. However, there are significant overheads associated with diligent lifecycle management, and many companies experience failures—how many records does your company possess that have yet to be categorized and properly stored?

A records management service can take care of lifecycle management for you. A combination of record management expertise, information governance services, and information storage project management ensures that your records are always secure, accessible, and compliant.

Contact a records management specialist today to begin your journey to reduced records management costs, improved security and information governance, and enhanced information flow.